Cyber Criminals have many ways to access and steal your financial information online. In the past year, this threat has only increased due to the covid-19 pandemic and its effects, namely the increased amount of online banking and transactions. As fintech continues to make more and more advancements and we move closer to a true ‘cashless society’, making sure your personal finances are secure will be more important than ever. Whether it’s strengthening your passwords or using antivirus protection, there are many steps you can take to make sure your personal information and assets are safe and secure. Here are 5 easy tips to get you started.
- Protect Your Passwords!
You’ve probably heard that having a strong password is essential to your online security, and this couldn’t be more true. Use passwords of more than eight characters, containing both upper and lowercase letters as well as special characters. Avoid using the same password on multiple websites. If you do, a hacker could compromise all of your accounts with one lucky guess. For additional security, you can also consider using a password management tool, which will create complex passwords for you and store them on a protected server.
2. Keep your software up to date
Constantly updating both system software and applications is one of the most effective ways to reduce ransomware attacks on your information. Most software companies include security fixes with every update they release, so having the latest versions of software is paramount. An easy way to make sure you never miss an important update is to turn on automatic updates. Also, make sure you routinely update your browser plugins, such as Flash and Java.
3. Run a reputable anti-virus software on your PC
Running an anti-virus product has been one of the most reliable ways to protect against malicious attacks. Anti virus software protects malware from entering your device and compromising data, and will also clean out existing viruses.
4. Be suspicious of emails, phone calls and flyers
Scammers are increasingly using emails and phone calls to conduct their phishing scams. Because of this, make sure you don’t click links in unsolicited emails and text messages. Doing this may install malware on your device without even knowing it. Before you click a link on an email, make sure you know for sure where the email is coming from and where the link is going.
5. Frequently check your credit report and bank statements
It is crucial to review your lines of credit and bank statements frequently. Check your credit reports for unknown accounts, reopened closed accounts, and unusual or suspicious transactions. Regularly keeping tabs on your financial activity can make it easier to spot fraudulent activity sooner. If you do see suspicious activity, freeze your account and contact the authorities immediately.